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Orioles minor league recap 6/14: Diaz goes deep again in Baysox victory

Second-ranked prospect hits his third home run for Bowie while Norfolk wins, Knight struggles in Frederick.

MLB: Spring Training-Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Norfolk Tides 4, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees) 3

Norfolk scored three runs in the fourth on a Jace Peterson home run to erase a 2-0 deficit, then got an insurance run in the eighth on an RBI single by No. 5 prospect Austin Hays before coming away with the win.

Hays went 1-for-3 for the night, and is batting .238 with a .702 OPS, while Peterson was 2-for-4 with a double in addition to the home run and three RBI. No. 1 prospect Ryan Mountcastle went 1-for-3 and is hitting .303 with an .850 OPS, while Cedric Mullins, Austin Wynns and Zach Vincej also had hits.

Tom Eshelman got the win, going seven innings while allowing two runs, one of which was earned. Keegan Akin, the team’s No. 6 prospect, allowed one run on a hit and two walks while striking out three for his first hold.

Bowie Baysox 9, New Hampshire (Blue Jays) 4

Top-two prospect Yusniel Diaz homered for the second straight game, this one a three-run shot to help Bowie, which led 8-0 after four, to the win.

Diaz (1-for-3, three RBI) has three hits in his last seven at-bats, and has seen his average climb from .208 to .223 in two games. Ryan McKenna, the team’s No. 7 prospect, struck out twice but had a single and scored two runs. He’s at .217, with a .634 OPS. Rylan Bannon, the No. 22 prospect, had a better day and was 2-for-4 with an RBI, and is .274 with a .760 OPS for the season.

Other good days belonged to Mason McCoy, who went 2-for-5 and is batting .329, and Ademar Rifaela, who drove in three runs. T.J. Nichting and Preston Palmeiro had two hits each.

Marcos Molina got the win, allowing three runs on five hits while fanning five in seven innings. Branden Kline, making his first minor-league appearance since April 26, pitched an inning and struck out two.

Salem (Red Sox) 8, Frederick Keys 4

Blaine Knight’s rocky transition to High-A ball continued Thursday. The Orioles’ No. 10 prospect allowed eight runs — five earned — on nine hits in 4.2 innings while striking out two and walking two. He took the loss, and after going 3-0 with a 0.68 ERA in Delmarva is 0-3 with a 4.65 ERA with the Keys.

At the plate, Cole Billingsley and Jomar Reyes had the big nights at the plate. Billingsley went 3-for-5 with a double while scoring three runs and is now hitting .336, while Reyes was 3-for-5 with two RBI and a pair of doubles. Ryan Ripken was 1-for-5 with a double, as well as three strikeouts.

J.C. Escarra was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Frederick had a 4-3 lead in the fourth, but two runs in the fourth and three in the fifth for Salem turned the game for good.

Hickory (Rangers) 9, Delmarva Shorebirds 2

The suddenly slumping Shorebirds have lost five in a row and six of their last seven. This one wasn’t pretty either — Delmarva gave up four runs in the seventh to fall behind 8-0, and didn’t get on the board until the eighth.

Ofelky Peralta has had a good season so far on the mound, but Thursday was forgettable. He allowed three runs on five hits in five innings and took the loss to fall to 4-2 with a 2.82 ERA, though he did strike out seven.

JC Encarnacion, the Orioles’ 13th-ranked prospect, went 2-for-4 with an RBI (while also committing his 13th error), while No. 16 prospect Cadyn Grenier went 1-for-5. Seamus Curran drove in the other run, albeit while stranding six other runners, and Robbie Thorburn went 2-for-5 with a double.

Of note: Another Orioles affiliate starts its season today, as the Aberdeen Ironbirds host the Hudson Valley Renegades at 7:05 p.m.

Complete box scores from Thursday’s games can be found here.

Friday’s scheduled games

  • Norfolk: vs. Toledo (Tigers), 7:05 p.m. Starter: Luis Ortiz (2-6, 7.01 ERA)
  • Bowie: vs. Trenton (Yankees), 7:05 p.m. Starter: Zac Lowther (5-4, 2.12 ERA)
  • Frederick (doubleheader): at Salem (Red Sox), 6:05 p.m., following Game 1. Starters: Brenan Hanifee (4-5, 4.47 ERA), David Lebron (2-0, 2.74 ERA).
  • Delmarva: vs. Hickory (Rangers), 7:05 p.m. Starter: Hector Guance (3-2, 4.03 ERA)
  • Aberdeen: vs. Hudson Valley (Rays), 7:05 p.m. Starter: TBD